There are very strong indications that the Lagos state government may commence collection of the controversial “wharf landing fees within the first quarter of this year.
Already, the State House of Assembly is reported to be in the final stage of enacting the new law which will empower the state government to collect varying amount of money on imported goods that landed in the country through the Lagos ports of Tin Can and Apapa.
Sources close to the state government confirmed to Shipping Position Weekly last week that after the public hearing which the state legislature conducted last year to sensitise members of the shipping community in Lagos, all is now set for the House to pass the “Wharf landing Fees Bill 2009”.
Although details of the final copy were not ready, our correspondent confirmed that they are not remarkably different from what the state executive council earlier sent to the law makers.
Shipping Position Weekly can reveal authouritatively that when it eventually becomes law, each 40-foot container will attract a levy of =N=1000, while 20-foot container will be levied =N=500 each. Similarly, all other container that are smaller will attract =N=300 each, while cars, Sport Utility Vehicles and trucks will attract a fee of =N=300, =N=500 and =N=1000 respectively.
However, these fees are not applicable to consignments belonging to the Federal Government of Nigeria, foreign governments, Lagos state and all local governments in the state.
Confirming the determination of Lagos state government to push ahead with the law, special adviser to the state government on tax matters, Mr Adeola Ipaye told Shipping Position Weekly the state government had done sufficient home work and also carried everyone along to ensure that that the new kicks of smoothly.
Although, he stressed that it was not within his purview to predict when then law would come on stream, he never-the-less hinted that first quarter 2009 is most likely heralds the new law, even as he added that there was nothing unusual in the bid to collect wharf landing fees in Lagos.
He also disclosed that the state government was still toying with the best method of collecting the fees without obstructing other activities. According to him, it is either it is collected as part of other fess that are collected on all consignments that land in the ports or it is collected independently by officials of the state government.